The Change Side of People
What can Change?
In the context of organizations, the default circumstance is that included persons see their individual presence as both a cause and an effect of the character of the organization.
From one person to another, the main kind of variation in that lies in how the two influences are felt (perceived), on balance. Some people need the cause/effect balance to be weighed differently than what other people need. (More cause? More effect? Equal?)
Yet in all cases, the individual arrives at their felt position in the following way.
From case to case, a proposed change affects different parts of the equation differently — for better, or for worse, or not at all.
Change to What?
A proposed change, no less than a sudden change, provokes an aware person’s decision-making about accepting or resisting the change.
That decision-making need not be fully explicit or “conscious” in order to be decisive. Much of what occurs can take place by habit, instinct, or other predisposition.
More importantly, the “net” decision to accept or resist is not entirely one way or the other.
Additionally, the decision is a negotiated composition of many possible mental and emotional reactions both pro and con.
Normally, pros and cons co-exist but somehow must relate to each other in an understood way.
People typically avoid loss, damage, conflict, and confusion that degrades current or future “pros”.
A proposal can perpetuate, add to, ignore, or amplify current or future “cons”.
Understanding the Stakes
Trade-offs occur in terms of the difference between current actualities and future probabilities.
The trade-offs presented by the PROS are different from the trade-offs presented by the CONS.
But in both cases, a preference for the future probabilities comes from confidence that the apparent next normal is a better set of terms for personal autonomy, authority, and ambition.
What’s specifically “better” for one person may not be better for another. But each person uses those terms to establish a sense of how they can retain their own personal grasp of their opportunities, options and objectives.
Confidence comes from identifying how the proposed change will probably benefit their autonomy, authority and ambition — three key messages to be clearly communicated, both to and by the person, in the campaign for the managed change.
For this probability to be credible, a stakeholder will especially look for the means and modes that are going to enable their preferred future position.
The campaign, therefore, is not one-way messaging. It is a guided dialogue among stakeholders. Within the communications that host the dialogue, people decide if and how they will change.
© 2021 malcolm ryder / archestra research for ChangeBridge LLC